Inquiry into Inquiries: Essays in Social Theory

By Arthur F. Bentley; Sidney Ratner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
Logic and Logical Behavior

POSTSCRIPT AS PREFACE
This essay was commenced under a three-word title, Nature and Logic, which, in the expanded phrasing given it toward the end of Section I, posed a query as to "the status of the processes of logic themselves as facts in life and in nature." It proceeded with successive changes yielding more specific forms of headings, and ended with one directing attention upon a manner of differentiation between Logic as Inquiry, and logical behaviors as the subjectmatters inquired into. There was, in other words, an increase in definiteness. Since even a slight change in definiteness is of value in the regions in which the background problems of logic, the sciences, and mathematics are considered together, I mention it. This outcome, if it proves to be a step in the right direction, should be credited to the postulation in use, within the range of which I have attempted to hold steady the treatment of all logical fact.Far from giving factual denial to contrasting views, these postulates do not even assert themselves as having factual values. They enter simply as working tools with which we may experiment, and which will be appraised in the end solely in accord with whatever service or disservice they may render. Among them we may stress:
1. The living of organisms on earth is found under way as activity or process within a setting of physical processes such that, however vast may be the hopes we nourish for increased future learning about living, we have no need today to look outside of the ranges of this physical setting for interpretive constructions.
2. All of men's knowings are found as activities among the other activities of the living organism, and this in a way such that, however vast may be the hopes we nourish for increased future learning about know-
____________________
Ms. essay, dated June 27, 1949. This essay remains about three-quarters finished. It states the problem and indicates the answer, but does not attain the necessary development which would give the maximum precision to the author's ideas. But this essay is regarded by the editor as being so important in carrying forward the central insights of Bentley and Dewey that he deems it worth publishing even in this imperfect state.

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